Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I can't remember the last time that I made puttanesca, but the left-over cured olives from New Year's Eve gave me the idea to do so the other day.  Everything else was in the cupboard, so it was one of those very easy winter dishes that yields a lot of flavor.  And since it was National Spaghetti Day it was a perfect choice.

I like to start the sauce while the pasta water is coming to a boil and finish it while the pasta is cooking.  I modified it a bit using what I had on hand.  For example, I had only white anchovies also left over from the holidays, and instead of "two" 28-ounce cans of whole plum tomatoes, I used one 28-ounce can and one 14.5-ounce can. And, of course, I like my tomatoes in sauces to be rustic, so I crush them with my hands.  It was perfect.

Serves 2


Cherry Pitter is Perfect to Pit Olives
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 small onion, chopped, about 1/2 cup
2 anchovy fillets
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
1 14.5 ounce can whole plum tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup pitted black olives, oil-cured
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon pepporicino, or crushed red pepper flakes
 1/2 pound spaghetti

Bring pot of water to boil and salt it.

Warm 2 tablespoons oil with garlic and anchovies in skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is lightly golden and anchovies are disintegrated.

Drain tomatoes and crush.  Add to skillet. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and mixture becomes saucy, about 10 minutes. Stir in olives, capers and pepporicino, and continue to simmer. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until it is tender. Drain pasta and toss with sauce.


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